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Sunday, 31 July 2011


Cemeteries are weird places.

They are where the dead rest for eternity, they are where the living come to remember those that arn't, they are where constant reminders of the long forgotten remain, they are where unnatural things happen.

As a child i was unnaturally drawn to them.

This could have been the depression, it could have been something else drawing me to them, or it could have been the knowledge that i was not allowed there.

My mum is the manager of the local crematorium.

Yes ... crematorium.

No ... she does now have to see the bodies.

Yes ... crematorium is where they burn the drad bodies.

Yes ... i did mean "cemeteries are weird places".

Yes ... i am aware that they are different things.

Yes ... we also have a small cemetery inside the crematorium

... may i finish now?

So anyway, as a child, it was always closed off to the public, and so being the inquisitive child i was, i just had to go inside!

It diddn't take me long to figure out that despite being surrounded on all sides by either fencing, brickwork or hedges, the hedge-side was not attached to anything, and that i could easily fit through the gap.

There i was ... stood in the ancient cemetery at long last! There was nothing special about it, it was just a load of stone slabs on the ground in a very small space.

But none-the less i was fascinated!

I mean, i was standing where hardly anyone was allowed to go! And i was really interested. I must have spend hours just walking arround this tiny section of the crematorium, reading the memorials, trying to see how old they were, visualising the people.

Strangely ... i was at peace there.

Of course, this wasnt the only time i went there either, infact i used to visit it every time i went there. I dont know why.

Over the years, i've become accustomed to death.

There are several influencing factors: my mum's job, my mental state, lots of death's in the family, lots of pets dying etc

In fact i remember our cat lucky. I must have been about 8 years old at the time, and he ran away. We spend ages trying to find him! We put posters up everywhere, we had the neighbours looking out for him, we called the vet to see if anyone had reported him.

He was missing for about 2 weeks before we found him.

I don't remember why i had to go into our play-house that day .. most likely to get some of my dad's work equipment. So i walked out into our garden in my shoes listening to the crunch of the melting snow from about a week or so before.

I just remember opening the door, ducking inside and going to get something from inside when i found lucky.

He was dead.

Ice cold to the touch, to this day i'm not sure if he froze to death or starved, but either way it was kind of traumatising to a little kid. He looked so peaceful, so calm, like he was sleeping. That was my first real brush with death, and it certainly was yet to be the last.

I've been to so many funerals, i actually have a funeral shirt! What i mean by this, is that i have a shirt that i ONLY wear for funerals. I was devistated when i couldnt wear it to my nan's funeral because i couldnt find it. That is the only funeral i havn't worn it, and i intend to keep this tradition up for as long as i'm here.

Yes ... cemeteries are weid places. They are places for adventrue. They are  home to memories and tradition. They are an escape to a little boy ...


StarSandwich said...

Jack your really cute. ^__^

I got there a lot. Not just to see my great-great granddad who I've never known in my life. (the reason I do go and leave one rose is because my great-great grandma is 96 and can't go so I pay my respects for her) But I walk to the old-old part of the grave yard the ones with the graves dating back to the 18th century and look at the names such as 'Master Francis' the lovely old fashioned names. I remember 'Master Francis' because it a massive plot on its own that stands over 9foot in the air with some crazy thing on top. Its beautiful

I had a lot of pets die too. Remember stroking my guini-pig when it was all stiff. I'm a strange child. Mum says it too. Ohh, that's why I have a snake and a lizard they last a very long time. My closes friends.

-Star \( o 3 o )/

naturgesetz said...

Actually, the remains don't rest in the cemetery for all eternity, just until the resurrection at the end of time.

I'm kind of ambivalent about cemeteries. I know that the person isn't there under the ground conscious of people when they visit. so I don't feel really drawn to visit them. I can talk to my parents and other dead relatives just as well here at home as in the cemetery; and they are every bit as much aware of it as if I were standing at their graves. But still, if I am in the cemetery, it seems like a good occasion to say a few words of love to them, to ask them to pray for me, and to ask God to be good to them.

Losing a pet is always a sad experience. What happened to Lucky must have been a terrible shock.

Wayne said...

This is my comment on another blog just a few days ago when the blogger said he was afraid of death;
'The old cliche is so true; 'Eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we die'. Every living thing on this planet will die so we have lots of company. One of the fringe benefits of growing old and frail is that dying is not so bad if it means getting rid of your old worn-out painful body. People who have almost died and come back have said in most cases it was not such a bad experience. I remember being put under general anesthesia and I could have been dead as far as I was concerned lol. I don't fear death in itself; I view it more as a release and I have lived my life so that I can go with a clear conscience. What I don't want is a whole lot of pain for months before I go; no extraordinary measures to keep me alive please doc!
-I also don't believe we retain our individual identity and memory when we die, movie themes to the contrary. Why? Ever seen an Alzheimer's patient? All the neural connections that made that personality and memory are gone; like a hard drive that has been wiped. I think that life is a collective consciousness; what is the point of the universe and existence without a consciousness to recognize it?
-So we are afraid of death cos we are afraid of the unknown, and the drive for life is instinctual; Mme Curie said 'Nothing is to be feared, only understood.' Life is about the trip and it is best to prepare yourself (while you are young) so it will be a more rewarding experience. Death is always looking over our shoulder; so have some fun in the meantime, every day above ground is good.'
-Most of those people in that cemetery made the best of life and reaped it's rewards, and fought to the last breath before going. Good times are coming Jack! - Wayne :)

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